We’ve been thinking about the campaign #WhyIDidntReport today in our migrant women’s group. The women in the group have experienced so much violence, including sexual violence. Here are just some of the reasons they didn’t report:
1. A woman from a small migrant community: “because when the police got me an interpreter, they were my husband’s relative.”
2. “I never thought we could complain. If I don’t know rape os a crime, how can I report it? In my country it is not a crime.”
3. “I felt shame because of my culture. They say it is shame when a wife tells anyone about their husband. My relatives - even the embassy - asked why I was reporting and blamed me, even though it was not my fault.”
4. “I was scared that if I went to the police in Pakistan that they could assault me too.”
5. “I was scared that my in-laws could take my children.”
6. “I didn’t know it was a crime, and anyway, I didn’t have the words to say what happened to me. How can I tell the police what happened to me? He did what he wanted to me while I was pregnant.”
7. A woman on a spousal visa with no recourse to public funds: “He told me ‘because of me you are here’. I was pregnant... where else would I go? I had no-one else here.”
8. Undocumented woman: “how can I report when I have no papers? I was scared.”
9. “He told me they would take my child off me if I told anyone. As a mother I was scared too much... he knew my weak point.”
10. “He told me I should be thanking him for bringing me here; that I should pay him. He told me the government would deport me.”
11. “I didn’t tell the police because it would be a big problem for my family. My husband is my cousin and my mother-in-law is my auntie.”
12. “I didn’t report because I couldn’t go outside. I could only go out with my husband.”
13. “I tried to report to the police and he took the phone and threw it against the wall.”
Some spoke instead of their experiences of reporting violent crimes to the police and social services:
14. “I did report and they said that because I had no recourse and he was British that he has more rights than me. I was made to claim asylum without getting proper immigration advice.”
15. A woman with no recourse: “I did report, my child was given to my abusive partner and I was made homeless.”
16. “I did report and the police said I was an “illegal”.
These are some of the reasons that the women in our group didn’t report, and some of the brutal state responses when they did.

#LeaveNoWomenBehind #StepUpMigrantWomen #WhyIDidntReport

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